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Bus and Taxi Drivers Get Free Health Screenings in Jamaica

Church initiative seeks to instill a desire for a healthier lifestyle, leaders say.

Scores of bus and taxi drivers were the beneficiaries of free health check-ups last weekend, during a “Know Your Numbers” health drive organized by the Three Angels Pharmacy with support from members of some local Seventh-day Adventist churches, health agencies and companies in Mandeville, Jamaica.

Two hundred and forty of the approximately 400 persons registered were bus and taxi drivers who received the opportunity to be tested for Body Mass Index (BPI), blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, eye, and HIV, on May 27-28, 2017. The volunteer team also offered healthy lifestyle tips and general counseling, along with prayers for those who requested it. A volunteer medical doctor was also available.

“In general, the concern is that most of the persons who came were hypertensive,” said retired Nurse Leonie Bailey. Many were also pre-diabetic based on their numbers, she added.

“They need to make lifestyle changes to correct the current trajectory,” explained Bailey. “They need more rest, exercise, a diet with more fruits and vegetables and also to trust in God.”

Seventh-day Adventist entrepreneur and owner of Three Angels Pharmacy Rohan McNellie felt satisfied that he, along with the team of volunteers, did their best to share the love of Jesus through his recently launched mobile clinic.

  • Taxi driver Garfield Preddie gets his heart-beat checked by Dr. Noval Dale. [Photo: Nigel Coke]

  • Mayor of Mandeville Donovan Mitchell gets his blood pressure check from Nurse Kadia Sinclair of the Mandeville Comprehensive Clinic. [Photo: Nigel Coke]

  • Transport operators and others during the special health screenings held in Mandeville, Jamaica, May 27-28. [Photo: Nigel Coke]

  • Rohan McNellie, owner of Three Angels Pharmacy, speaks during the launch of the health screening project last March. [Photo: Nigel Coke]

The idea of this outreach to the men and women who are responsible for transporting members of the public in Mandeville came about when a taxi driver friend of McNellie died suddenly a few months ago, explained McNellie. “It struck me that maybe if he knew his ‘numbers,' he could have made the necessary change to his lifestyle and could have been alive today,” said McNellie.

“It is very important that people be made aware of their health conditions, and I know many of these drivers are so busy, they will not find the time to do health check-ups until it is too late,” added McNellie. “So this is my gift to the community because I want all of us to be in good health.”

Mayor of Mandeville, Counselor Donovan Mitchell, who also checked “his numbers” in the park on Saturday, commended the Seventh-day Adventist Church for reaching out to this special sector of the business community in Mandeville.

“What I see here today is the epitome of Adventism knowing that a number of known Adventists are out here doing what they have to do on the Sabbath, which is doing what the Lord said in Matthew 25:40 ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me’,” said Mayor Mitchell. “It is not just about church-going, but about what you have to do to help humanity,” he added. “I am sure the taxi men and the general public are appreciative of what is being done by the Church.”

“This is a marvelous initiative; I love this,” exclaimed taxi driver of more than 20 years, Garfield Preddie. “It helps me to know my body status and put me on my “Ps and Qs” to correct the areas that are not in line with good healthy norms.”

The Mandeville Police Department has asked assistance from the Three Angels Pharmacy Mobile Clinic for their upcoming health drive.

Since its launch in March 2017, the Three Angels Pharmacy Mobile Clinic has offered free medical check-up to several communities in Manchester, Trelawny St. Ann and Clarendon. More health screenings are scheduled for the coming weeks.



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